Students share proposal to ban plastic bags with Sarah


PHILIPSBURG–Simran Hotwani and Celine Mayeko-Coklee of Creative Hands met with Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams recently to share their proposal on eliminating single-use plastic bags through the use of individually-designed reusable canvas shopping bags.

The students learned of the Member of Parliament’s (MP’s) proposal to ban single-use plastic bags and were elated to share their project that supports this initiative. Creative Hands is a student-developed, non-profit organisation that aims to encourage youth to artistically solve some of the country’s current issues such as pollution.

Wescot-Williams has been working on a draft initiative law to amend the ordinance to ban the use of single-use plastic bags. She has received support from Nature Foundation, a long-time advocate of this ban. The initiative is modelled after Aruba’s ban on single-use plastic bags, which was also legislated in that island’s ordinance.


Following the MP’s disclosure on her efforts, she also received support from Aruba for this initiative and has been provided with the communication plan used by Aruba.

“The ban on plastic bags, while long overdue, needs to be carefully crafted and marketed, taking our own specificities into consideration. To make this work, we need the buy-in of the entire community, as it would be impossible to control everyone and every place,” said Wescot-Williams.

Creative Hands shared their hopes to be part of the solution and able to create an environment where creativity and ecological awareness meet. In their words: “Change starts with our youth and our intent is to educate the children of St. Maarten on the importance of being aware of their environment and provide art therapy through the means of decorating recyclable grocery canvas bags and promoting recycling.”

Wescot-Williams added, “This is the kind of partnerships we need to gradually bring about the change that will benefit not only us, but generations to come.”

Source: The Daily Herald